I really didn't know what to make of the Andrew Bridgen sexual assault allegations. I had even less idea of what to make of it when I discovered who he was actually alleged to have assaulted.
I can't claim to know the UK's "most shaggable blogger 2008" personally, but we have chatted online several times and she seems much like any other attractive young woman attracted to the political establishment: intelligent, reasonably sane (apart from the attraction to power, of course!) and quite normal.
So I did not know what to make of the claims and counter claims made by both parties.
I've been mulling it over for a while, and it seems to me that the whole fiasco is the epitome of what is wrong with British politics at the moment.
I am not surprised to see Tory bloggers and papers closing ranks behind Bridgen. And indeed they have.
I read one blog that tried to suggest that this was some sort of plot by UKIP to smear Andrew Bridgen. To which my rebuttal would be: "Who the fuck is Andrew Bridgen?" I'd never heard of him before this, so smearing him has only raised his profile. Plus, if they were trying to smear him, they wouldn't have walked away from the charges.
I was surprised that Labour and the Lib Dems, who are normally so keen to promote women's rights and make such a fuss about sexual harassment did not take the chance to stick the boot into a Tory. I can only assume that neither party is keen to give UKIP any supportive press, for entirely selfish reasons. Presumably, Europhilia trumps alleged sexual harassment of a UKIPper?
Or perhaps the LibDems are not keen to be seen to encourage a party that looks like it's about to overtake them in the polls.
I have no idea what really happened on the night in question, but I think a young and sexually aware woman might have met a bloke who she fancied, toddled back to his place and decided that it wasn't right or maybe he said something that scared her or maybe he wouldn't take no for an answer, whatever the reason, she panicked and ran.
According to the report in the Mirror, she accepted that she might have led him on, and didn't want to press charges at any point. The police went to arrest Bridgen on their own.
The retaliation that has come out of the Tory machine has very clearly been pour encourager les autres. And indeed, I hope that all Labour, Lib Dem and Tory activists and supporters will fondly remember this moment when some other young lady (or young man) gets assaulted or raped by an MP and is too scared to report it after seeing what happened here.
What happened in that flat is for the consciences of Andrew Bridgen and Annabelle Fuller. What happened after that shames just about everybody else.